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Entropic control of particle sizes during viral self-assembly

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Abstract

Morphologic diversity is observed across all families of viruses. Yet these supra-molecular assemblies are produced most of the time in a spontaneous way through complex molecular self-assembly scenarios. The modeling of these phenomena remains a challenging problem within the emerging field of Physical Virology. We present in this work a theoretical analysis aiming at highlighting the particular role of configuration entropy in the control of viral particle size distribution. Specializing this model to retroviruses like HIV-1, we predict a new mechanism of entropic control of both RNA uptake into the viral particle, and of the particle's size distribution. Evidence of this peculiar behavior has been recently reported experimentally.
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ensl-00790070 , version 1 (19-02-2013)

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Martin Castelnovo, Delphine Muriaux, Cendrine Faivre-Moskalenko. Entropic control of particle sizes during viral self-assembly. 2013. ⟨ensl-00790070⟩
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